Arts & Culture / Mosaic / October 14, 2010

Film Freak: Spoiler alert!

We’ve all ruined a movie for someone, if not in one way then another, but in all likelihood it was because we couldn’t keep our mouths shut. I’m not talking about theater law (specifically), I’m talking (ranting) about spoilers.

Face the facts, when you first found out Nemo was actually a robot-god from Narnia, you wanted to tell everyone, but you didn’t, did you? (DID YOU?!?!) The phenomenon is quite frequent; a movie has a great, unexpected reveal and two days later everyone (even the ghost of Honest Abe) knows what it is. How did this come to pass? Simple: we, as a species, suck.

About half of theater audiences are composed of people who can’t control their mouths and are, upon departure from the theater, destined to ruin the movie for someone. (Either intentionally or unintentionally, they know full well what they do). Another fourth of the audience has arrived already knowing what the reveal is, having looked up the synopsis online, and are forced to feign surprise lest they be lynched by theater-staff (for their sins). That leaves one-fourth left, but that number is too big so let’s say two-thirds of that forth will disappear over the Bermuda Triangle.

That leaves one-third of a forth behind. Half of this third of a forth is comprised of belligerent drunks and 14-year-old kids with laser-pointers. (Fun fact: it’s legal to extract violent theater-justice upon said “people” [see Amendment 8 subsection 12 article A of theater-law]).

We are now left with half of a third of a fourth, half of which has died during the screening, taking the secret to their grave (as we all should). Alright, now we’ve only one category left unaccounted for: half of a half of a third of a fourth, composed of people who genuinely have no idea what’s going on in the movie (either by virtue of head-trauma or living under a rock [I hear the rent is good]). The numbers (taken from the Ministry of Somethingrather) are a clear indication of just how doomed anyone hoping to see a movie without knowing the twist is.

What I’m trying to say is this: spoilers are spoilers for a reason, because they spoil things. The next time you want to tell someone the ending to a film, please don’t. Seriously, no jokes, just don’t. Please. And if you don’t want to have a movie ruined for you the best course of action is to cut-off your ears (and use them to woo a lady) and promptly kill anyone trying to speak with you (metaphorically). And even then you’re doomed. Want to know why?

Spoiler Alert: Gotcha, you’re to blame.

Dan Kahn

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